A smiling young woman, sitting on a throw with her own face on it. Bunches of pink balloons. A bottle of Listerine on the bedside table. You know what I’m talking about. This particular viral storm needs no introduction. It was even on BBC Breakfast this morning.

I have a lot of complicated feelings about what’s happened here, both personal and professional. And I don’t want to waste time going over ground that’s been widely covered already. I especially don’t want to talk about the individual influencer involved. She is not personally responsible for why this has blown up in her face. …

Hello, I’m Kate Brennan and this is the news from my Twitter feed. The headlines: Is this ad fat shaming? Today has seen intense controversy surrounding the latest awareness-raising campaign from Cancer Research UK:

Image for post
Image for post

So: what do you think?

With my ‘I work in advertising’ hat on, judging it objectively as a piece of communication, I think it’s great: it’s impactful and it’s caused a reaction, meaning that the message will go even further (for free). It has certainly nailed the brief of ‘make people aware that obesity causes cancer’.

The problem with it is that it’s trying to solve the wrong problem. …

Image for post
Image for post

“What are you doing this weekend?”

This question, a necessary staple of office conversation, has become my weekly reminder that lately, I’ve been a bit of a fun-sponge. My answer is, inevitably, ‘writing an essay’ or ‘studying for an exam’. It’s been crunch-time for me in terms of course deadlines, so when I’ve not been in the office, I’ve been in the library. I’ve never been more educated and less entertaining. All my chat is about dual process models of persuasion or linear regression.

So, I am thrilled to report that this weekend I have DONE SOMETHING. And that something was visiting the Design Museum (at last) to see its newest exhibit California: Designing Freedom.

I’m going to come straight out and admit it: my personal finances are not where I’d like them to be. I had hoped that by the age of 30, I’d own my own flat and have savings of more than £1.99. Instead, I have a credit card balance that never seems to shrink, no matter how much I pay into it. On the bright side, I’m on track to pay off my student loan… by the age of 110.

Image for post
Image for post

There are both explanations and excuses for why my finances are f*cked. There were the factors that I couldn’t change. I graduated into a recession. My local branch of the Bank of Mum & Dad had collapsed. The field I wanted to get into was competitive, and doing unpaid internships was the only way in. I couldn’t live at home, so I interned in the daytime whilst waitressing at night. For a while, I struggled to pay rent. …

Cycling to work is a wonderful thing to do. It’s great for your health, your bank balance and the environment. Cycling to work is also a terrifying thing to do. You have to worry about HGVs turning left and pedestrians stepping into your path. You have to put up with angry motorists who hate you because your presence on the road makes their journey a few seconds slower.

Given that London cyclists are in this together, you would hope that we all demonstrate compassion for others on the road, right? Wrong. A small minority of cyclists are out there, riding like they’re high on coke and fucking things up for everyone in their path. …

It’s a fact of life that things aren’t brilliant all the time. Sometimes things are great, and sometimes things are a bit shit. As someone who puts a lot of effort into trying to be happy, it’s doubly disappointing when life isn’t coming up with sunshine, rainbows and glittery unicorns. At Easter, I hit one of these bad patches. Ground down by coursework and job-work, I felt like I was dragging a weight around on my back. I needed a miracle.

Therefore, I turned to Gabrielle Bernstein. She’s described on her website as a modern day spiritual leader. Bernstein’s best-selling books include May Cause Miracles and Miracles Now. Her photographs gleam with happiness, health and serenity. Just look at her! …

According to David Hamilton PhD, science can unlock the secrets of self-esteem. Is he right? I followed his regime to find out.

No matter how hard you try, not everyone in life is going to like or appreciate you. Other people’s opinions of what you do and who you are will always vary. Sometimes you’ll put everything into a piece of work and it’ll be trashed by someone whose opinion matters to you. When this happens, it can sting. I’d love to tell you that I always take criticism in my stride, but sometimes bad feedback shakes my own opinion of my abilities to the core. …

Image for post
Image for post

On Friday night, I walked up the steps of Deptford Town Hall with a sense of trepidation: there had been a murder and I was there to investigate my very first case as a trainee cop. A young woman had been strangled, stabbed, and left for dead at her workplace. It was down to me to solve the crime and catch her killer.

I wasn’t working alone: there were 59 other cops on the case, as well as senior detectives, crime scene investigators, members of the press and Goldsmiths Forensic Psychology Unit. Thankfully, no-one had *really* died — we were all there to take part in a psychology experiment / murder mystery evening. …


Kate Brennan-Rhodes

advertising by day, psychology by night

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store